Autism: C'hele's Story

June 21, 2007

Real Love

Filed under: Poetry — C'hele @ 13:41

True love-

Is the deep,

Solitary silence

That lies within

Each heart.

There is only one problem-

We can never,

And we will never learn,

To know the difference

Of what loves truest face looks like

Until we think we really have it

But then realize

Its too late,

We already had it.

C’hele

June 18, 2007

Autism: Asperger’s Syndrome: In The Eye’s Of An Eleven Year Old Child~

Filed under: Aspberger Syndrome, Autism — C'hele @ 10:44

I found this the other day whilst I was in the midst of sorting through a plethora of paperwork that I dread to undertake when I have to. It was written a year ago in the same school I used to work in when I supported a young, medically fragile, young boy. This particular elementary school is well known in the district for being supportive to many cognitive and physically disabled young children. Each year they provide and teach a week-long educational program on various disabilities. Each classroom picks a particular special need and they spend the whole day going through every classroom in the school to educate the students on their chosen disability.

There is one young man there; an awkward, red-headed boy. I immediately took note of this boys physical restlessness and self-talk. His mother, someone whom I consider friend and a fellow parent advocate, is a cross-walking guard and noon hour supervisor of this school. We spoke off and on over the years and she would tell me how she was noticing very odd behaviour in her son. At school he was getting in trouble a lot; peers often made fun of him, and his teachers were continually frustrated with him and would often send him to the principles office.

There were many times when I would walk by with my student when he was in his wheelchair, by the principles office and I would notice the red-headed young man sitting in a chair located beside the principles office door. When I first noticed him sitting in the principles office, he would be sitting in his chair like he was sitting on hot coals. Later, as the year went on, his restlessness then turned into weeping. I remember speaking with his mother and she informed me of all the difficulties they were experiencing with their eleven year old son and the challenges they had receiving help now that their son was older. Asking her “what she though her sons challenge was“, she immediately replied: “Aspberger’s Syndrome. “ I immediately recommended and referred to her, a paediatrician who specializes in the field of autism. After they had an appointment with this doctor, help flowed out to this family but not without its stresses or frustrations. Their son missed receiving the early childhood that is so vital to his cognitive and physical well being. However! Better late than never and things over time improved for this young man and his family.

Once this young man received the formal label of Aspberger’s Syndrome, teachers became more understanding and tolerant and visits to the principal’s office were less frequent. He was able to receive autism funding that provided the necessary counselling and life-skills, educational materials and courses for his parents, and behavioural consultants that assisted the family when needed. Before I left this school, I watched with the pride as another parent of a child with autism, this young man take an important acting role of the conductor in a Christmas play on The Polar Express. Since I left this school, I have lost touch with this young man’s mother. But not for long, as parents of children with autism or any other disabilities may get lost in the business of life, but they never forget the heart to heart bonds and friendships that they make.

This young man, newly diagnosed, immediately volunteered to donate information on behalf of his class to educate others on the nature of Asperger’s Syndrome. The class dignified him by allowing him to proceed. This is what he wrote:

Asperger’s Syndrome

Everyone has challenges.

People with Asperger’s Syndrome have a different way of receiving and processing information.

They don’t always read a situation the same way as others do as they tend to be literal thinkers – seeing things either black or white, so they may not always respond appropriately.

It can be hard for them to interpret your facial expressions or understand what you mean.

They have to work twice as hard as everyone else, because not only are they learning “new math” or other information, they are decoding everything around them.

They don’t instinctively know some of the things that we “just know.” They have to be taught those things.

Yet they are very bright, creative people. Many famous and successful people have Asperger’s Syndrome. Examples would be: Albert Einstein, Wolfgang Mozart, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, Isaac Newton, and Alexander Graham Bell, just to name a few.

Experts say, “without Asperger’s people, man would still be living in caves.”

Ways to help someone with Asperger’s:

Be clear.

Say what you mean.

Don’t change the rules.

Give them time to adjust to changes.

Be kind, patient and understanding.

People with Asperger’s are more sensitive to the world around them and easily find themselves in sensory overload.

They may need a break and we should allow them to take this time.

Remember: people with Asperger’s Syndrome are just like you and I. They enjoy doing many of the same things. They don’t always know how to join in, or always know how to react appropriately. Sometimes all they need is our support.When I rediscovered this information that I had safely tucked away, I could not help but share it with my fellow online friends with children of autism and related disorders.

Peace to all.

C’hele

 

Blog at WordPress.com.